In a research done by University of Canada it was found that 80% of Canadian youth of age group 18 -24 are on social media. Now this is also an estimated no. for youth of almost every other country around the globe. Social media is an integral part of a youth’s life and we are no strangers to this fact. Millions of businesses around the world directly or indirectly are linked to social medias. But is social media good for us?
Social media is seen to be producing a drug like addiction on us. The release of ‘ feel good’ chemical in our brain called Dopamine, shows the impact of social media on us. The constant urge to check our phones to see any notifications is an itch like sensation our brain sends to the body, it is very recent stimulation that scientists discovered. It is called ‘Phantom Vibration Syndrome’ it’s when we think that our phone is vibrating or we hear the notification tune. Sounds familiar? It is caused because we spend more than 2 hours everyday on social medias. Social Media has been the root cause of many mental illness these days like anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia, panic attacks, self esteem issues and also physical fatigue and procrastination. Despite all this we still spend most of our time online scrolling and surfing. People tend to compare their average, ‘boring’ and ‘monotonous’ lives to other’s ‘shining , adventurous and best’ lives. We forget that no one posts their dull, sad , melancholy life moments. Nobody is living a perfect life.
Mad comparison and unrealistic expectations from ourselves is the most dangerous impact of social media. No. of likes = no. of validation or approval , we constantly check likes and comments like our life depends on it and if we don’t get enough likes we get sad and these small sad moments leads to bigger problems i.e depression, a constant “I’m not enough” feeling leads to self degradation and worthlessness. Social media has the power to manipulate or rather completely change our identity. We are a complete different person on social media as the attention is on us and we have an audience to hear and see us. Now you be the judge if it’s good for you?
We all have that one point in life when we think of deleting or deactivating our account especially Instagram and Facebook but get this infamous “F.O.M.O”. According to improvement pill ‘Our brain is constantly collecting data without us knowing about it, it primarily does this to know ” if we are in danger” ,” do we have any resources nearby” and the most relevant “where do I stand in the social hierarchy?” ‘ . This makes us compare ourselves with others on the basis of physique, clothing and friends and we put ourselves in the hierarchy according to these parameters . This comparison leads to many problems and also problems like online harassment , cyber bullying etc. The victims of these harassment are mostly Women, LGBTQ community and colored people. Social media and it’s impact depends on what you do with, Social media connects millions of people around the world. We can send love, joy and happy thoughts and most of all cute animals videos and MEMES . So internet can be a dark space where you constantly have threats to your privacy , mentally health and happiness but if we have control over it moderate our usage and live our lives more offline then we’ll be just fine and memes will save the day.
-George David Toppo